THE National Trust has denied claims made last week that tree felling on Bickerton Hill had been stopped following a meeting between staff and concerned local residents.
Friends of Bickerton Hill took to the hill to complain about the trust’s project to clear pine trees to allow heathland to grow, as reported in last week’s Chronicle.
But the alleged agreement between the group, led by local resident Tony Ord, and Cheshire countryside manager Christopher Widger, to down tools has been refuted.
Mr Widger said: “On behalf of the National Trust and our partners working on the restoration of lowland heath at Bickerton Hill, I was extremely disappointed to see that Mr Ord contacted The Chronicle immediately after a meeting I had with him at Bickerton last week.
“Prior to the meeting I had requested that contractors carrying out work on site stopped to allow Mr Ord and myself to look at the area in question and to allow a discussion to take place.
“Mr Ord appears to be under the impression that the meeting resulted in work at Bickerton Hill being stopped for good, which is not the case.”
The National Trust is working in conjunction with Natural England and the Forestry Commission on an agreed plan to remove birch trees from three hectares of heathland on Bickerton Hill.
The work is part of a long-term heathland restoration project, supported by Cheshire Wildlife Trust and Cheshire County Council.
Mr Widger added: “The trust and its partners are happy, as ever, to continue a dialogue with interested parties regarding work at Bickerton.”